Photo: Mikko Raskinen
There are two main research teams doing Arctic research in this department: Marine Technology and Solid Mechanics. Research focuses on the behaviour of ships and structures in ice, the behaviour of sea ice itself and assessing the impact sea ice has on the safety of maritime transportation.
The Arctic marine research is concentrating on ice loads on ships and structures, ship performance and ship safety. The group has excellent international and national networks, including CEARCTIC, a Joint Research Center of Excellence for Arctic Shipping and Operations funded by Lloyd's Register Foundation in London and led by Aalto. The group is studying these topics by conducting extensive full-scale trials onboard ice-going ships, utilising the Aalto ice tank and by developing theoretical models e.g. for ice load stochasticity and ultimate strength of structures.
Solid mechanics research at Aalto University School of Engineering focuses on the mechanical behavior of high-performance materials, material systems and structures, including the development of high-performing structures and even new efficient materials for the need of the society. The aim is to develop simple theoretical models to speed up the design processes for complex structural systems.
Aalto Ice Tank is a 40 m × 40 m water basin equipped with a cooling system and equipment to produce model-scale sea ice. The model scale ice is fine grained and generated through a spraying process. Typical experiments in the tank include resistance, propulsion, and manoeuvring tests of ships in ice, tests on ice loads on marine structures, and modeling of natural ice formations, such as ice ridges. The Aalto Ice Tank is unique in Europe because of its dimensions and, in particular, its large width. While the infrastructure is called an ice tank, the facility is multifunctional and can also be used for open water tests. The basin has wave makers that allow research on problems related to ice and waves.